Reimagining Learning Through Design Thinking

by | 11.3.15

“Gone are the days of ‘a problem = a solution.’” –Teacher Jamie Ewing.

Wondering how design thinking can work in your classroom? Not even sure what, exactly, design thinking is? This week, we’re starting a conversation around design thinking and what it means to you, and want to hear from you on Teacher2Teacher’s social media channels.

First up: What is design thinking as it relates to education, anyway? It’s a creative problem-solving approach that engenders discovery, creativity and experimentation in students. And what difference can the model make in the classroom? Engag(ED) Exchange D.C. emcee Jamie Ewing notes that it has the potential to push students’ thinking to a more creative place:

“Using design thinking combined with Project Based Learning in my classroom is blowing up brainstorming (what I like to call MIND-storming) in a way that pushes my students to take their thinking further and deeper. Gone are the days of ‘a problem = a solution.’ Now it is all about multiple solutions and sifting it down to the best creative solution or an amazing combination of solutions. My students really have to think and are challenged to do so daily instead of just being able to regurgitate facts.”

Design thinking clearly has a place in the classroom, and this week, we’ll be discussing how it can impact you and your students. We’ll be highlighting resources to inspire your work and thought-starters to drive conversation, and we want you to jump in and share your own thoughts, best practices and helpful hints for your fellow teachers. What does design thinking mean to you? We want to know!

Interested in learning more about design thinking? Join us at our Engag(ED) Exchange D.C. event on Saturday, November 7!

Engag(ed) Exchange is a unique event series that brings teachers together. The goal is to forge meaningful connections, exchange ideas and learn from leaders in the field while discovering untapped inspiration and creativity. We’re partnering with the Innovation Lab at OPM and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to bring you this free event from 9 am–1 pm on Saturday at the Hotel Monaco in Washington, D.C.

Key highlights of the D.C. event include:

  • An Idea Exchange Wall, where we’ll collectively answer a prompt centered around design thinking. Responses will build off of previous responses and create a collaborative dialogue to inspire action beyond the event.
  • live performance by Patrick Washington, a master of spoken word and hip-hop fusion and teaching artist at Words, Beats & Life.
  • Designing Our Way to the Future: Led by Stephanie Wade, director of the Innovation Lab at Office of Personnel Management, this conversation will center around the macro perspective on how design thinking principles can be applied across all disciplines and industries to determine solution-oriented methods of solving problems.
  • Design Thinking in Action: Putting Process into Practice: Featuring Mindhatch founder Coonoor Behal and Toby Chaudhuri, VP of strategic communications and national partnerships at PBS, this fireside chat will highlight tangible examples of leveraging design thinking principles to support learning in the classroom and how they can be applied to yield collaborative discovery and innovation in the real world. The chat will be moderated by Chuck Appleby, president of Appleby & Associates, who specializes in solving wicked problems associated with transformation and innovation.
  • A hands-on, creative activity to engage with and take inspiration from for your own classroom and community.

Join the conversation and help shape it by contributing your thoughts, sharing resources and discussing best practices around using design thinking in education. Use the hashtag #EngagedExchange — we’ll be sharing your posts on Twitter @teacher2teacher. And if you live in or near the Washington, D.C. area, we hope to see you there!

Learn more about and register for the event here.

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Teacher2Teacher Team

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